Mark Cavendish still holding out hope for new contract

Report: Michael Matthews tests negative in follow-up controls

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Just a few days ago, Mark Cavendish broke down in tears after Gent-Wevelgem when it appeared his racing career might be over.

On Wednesday morning before the start of Scheldeprijs, Cavendish clarified his comments, and said he hopes to continue racing, but admitted that emotion overwhelmed him when it appeared things were closing down.

“It was a lot of emotion, there were a lot of rumors that the rest of the races were going to be canceled,” Cavendish said. “I don’t have next year sorted yet, so it dawned on me it could be the last race on the season, and potentially my career. I always wear my heart on my sleeve, I always have.”

Hours later, Cavendish finished 143rd in Scheldeprijs, a race he holds close to his heart since it was his first pro win in 2007.

The 35-year-old, riding in his final races with Bahrain-McLaren in a one-year deal, said he still hopes to race next season.

“I don’t have a desire to stop. I don’t want to spot. I’d like to continue riding my bike,” Cavendish said. “Here in the Scheldeprijs, I achieved my first professional victory. I was really looking forward to this race. I love to race in Belgium. I love the Belgian people. Belgian racing is pure racing. I am really happy that this course continues.”

Cavendish, who holds 30 stage victories at the Tour de France among his 146 career wins, defended his track record despite not winning since 2018.

“Eighty-percent of bike riders don’t win a race in their career. Of course, I want to win, but for me, if I finish second, it’s seen as a bad thing, whereas for some others, it’s a good result,” Cavendish said. “I’m just trying to give something back to cycling. Of course, I would like to win, but it is about more than just winning. I hope [to keep racing]. We’ll see what happens.”

Report: Michael Matthews tests negative in follow-up controls

Maybe Michael Matthews isn’t positive for COVID-19 after all.

Reports in Wielerfliets citing Sunweb team sources say that Matthews, who was removed from the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday, tested negative for the infection in follow-up controls conducted by the team. The report said the team will do more controls to see if it’s safe for Matthews to perhaps race again before the 2020 season is out.

The Dutch website also reported that follow-up controls conducted on Steven Kruijswijk, who also tested positive and left the Giro, confirmed that he is indeed infected. Jumbo-Visma pulled its entire team from the Giro as a safety measure.